August 15, 2008

World Cup - Prague (part two)

Today is the first day of competition here in Prague and it's also the first day that the sun hasn't shined. It's been raining all day long but fortunately it hasn't done too much to dampen the mood and the banks have still been lined with spectators (just). This morning kicked off with the junior men's and right now the seniors are still competing. French junior, Maxime Renault, has taken the top spot into tomorrow's semi final. I didn't see the whole category, but I saw some sweet rides from Netherlands' Tom Van Kalmthout and USA's Jason Craig. Surprisingly, Dane Jackson, who's been looking great in training, didn't make the cut, neither did GBR's only junior, Tom Turner.

With 17 heats of 5 men at a time, the competition continues. In between sheltering in cafes and drinking coffee, I've seen strong rides from Eric Jackson (USA) and Mathieu Dumoulin (FRA) who are the current World and European Champions respectively, and also Ed Smith, Peter Csonka and Clay Wright. With the water levels rising and the feature starting to change it'll be interesting to see who comes out on top.

On a personal note, I've not had the best few days leading up to the competition. Wednesday night I was suffering from sickness that I think was cause by the river water. Not so much fun. I ended up missing out on training yesterday but I attempted to make up for it by getting up at 5.30am this morning for one more practice. Thankfully there was only one other paddler on the water; the quietest I've seen it all week. The senior ladies are up first thing tomorrow morning and I'm in the first heat that starts at 8am. I'll aim to post another update after that with all of today's results.

Jason Craig
The French supporters
Ed Smith going huge
EJ's entry




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